If you needed one more example of why the Republican Party is morally bankrupt and hates women, here it is. From the Washington Examiner…(emphasis mine)
About two-dozen abortion rights proponents, including many legislators, gathered on the Statehouse grounds to express their anger over comments made last month by Republican Rep. Pete DeGraaf, of Mulvane.
During that House debate, Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican who supports abortion rights, questioned whether women would buy abortion-only policies long before they have crisis pregnancies or are rape victims.
DeGraaf (Republican Pete DeGraaf ) told her: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?”
DeGraaf then drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have a spare tire on my car.”
Has anyone else noticed that there are no longer any adults in the Republican Party. That man, and I use the term loosely, is implying that women need to get used to being raped and even should plan ahead for it. It almost makes me wonder if the man has raped himself, if he can treat it so nonchalantly. I can’t even fathom how someone can think that way, let alone an elected politician in a supposedly legitimate political party. And that’s the rub, I guess. It’s a free-for-all in the Republican party now, anything goes. They clearly hate women, except the ones that have been brainwashed to believe their misogynistic horseshit. They’re really sticking it to the senior citizens, so they must not have living parents or they are so rich, they don’t have to worry about the future. They really dislike children and don’t give a flying fuck whether they are educated, my theory is that they want to keep them stupid so they vote Republican. They despise anyone who isn’t pasty white, with a few exceptions that they trot out as examples of their black friends. Clarence Thomas would be one example. Go read Allan Brauer’s excellent piece about our crooked Supreme Court Justice. So, basically, the Republican Party has become the party that welcomes all bigots and every kind of despicable person, come one, come all.
Hat Tip to ThinkProgress
I started writing this post about a week ago, having no idea that the two subjects of the post, dumb and dumber, would meet up and chow on some pizza. If you added up their IQ’s, you still wouldn’t reach 100. I imagine there was a lot of grunting and pointing going on at this meeting of the stupids.
Cable news and even broadcast news have become vehicles for con artists, egomaniacs and narcissists to make lots of money. There are way too many examples of this in the last few years, but I will just pick a few to focus on. The most recent and blatant example is Donald Trump. He used the guise of “possibly” running for president to promote his NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice”. It was so over the top and obvious, that some in the media even said they knew he was just trying to get publicity and then they would “roll tape” or say “we’ll talk to the Donald right after the break.” So even after admitting that they were being used, they just kept doing it. There were a few days on MSNBC where he was camped out in their studio and they put him on every half hour to spew his bullshit, mostly unchallenged. And he always dropped in several mentions of his TV show, without fail. I watched as MSNBC anchors just sat there speechless as he vomited out his racist, elitist bullshit and in my opinion, did great harm to our society. They helped to perpetuate the underlying racism behind his birth certificate claims and towards the end of his media blitz, the President’s educational accomplishments. That all came to a halt with the complete shellacking of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. And then the next day, the killing of Osama bin Laden.
I called for a boycott of NBC until they fire him. I am still not watching that network until his ass is gone. It doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon, so NBC can count on one less viewer and one less consumer buying their advertisers products. I will not watch that network until he is off the air, period. I have also switched over to CNN as my daytime news network. Fuck MSNBC during the day, they simply take the latest meme from the “Morning Meme Generator with Joe” and repeat it on the half hour and then bring on Jane Hamsher or some other firebagger to beat up on the President and ignore his latest accomplishments. They usually have a Republican there to beat up on the president too, their idea of being bi-partisan. I do still watch Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and sometimes Ed Schultz. What else is there for a liberal to watch these days, until I get my cable network off the ground. (Only half joking)
The other example of the cable networks being willing vehicles for con artists is Sarah Palin. She has a documentary coming out and is on a bus tour. She has a fire in her belly, you know. I take Prilosec for mine. But once again, she is teasing the media into thinking she is running for president, when almost everyone says they know she will not. But that isn’t any reason to not pretend like she is and give her all the oxygen in the room. Who gives a shit about Joplin MO, or the radiation in Japan that has dropped off the radar, or the other communities torn apart by tornadoes or flooding. Instead, they are pimping for Sarah Palin and putting money directly into her greedy little, crib-noted hands. They are completely unabashed in giving her all the time she wants. And I’m not just talking about Fox News, this is all the cable networks, broadcast networks and the freakin internet too. I personally have grown tired of laughing at her half-witted sayings and screeching voice.
Mark my words, the next few weeks will be the Sarah Palin chronicles on cable news, they will have well paid reporters following her around, clinging to every word and tweet she spews, speculating about her run for president, blah, blah, fucking blah. And there is no way in hell she is running for president, that’s way too much work. Shit, she couldn’t handle being the governor of Alaska and cashed in while the getting was good.
I’ve been calling this phenomenon the “Balloon Boy Syndrome”, in honor of Richard and Mayumi Heene, the reality show folks who missed the limelight of being reality stars and had to jump up and down to get people to pay attention to them. This syndrome is very contagious, as soon as one network goes with a story, the others follow right along. Long gone are the days of checking sources or confirming stories, that’s for wimps. Run with it, what the hell, they can always spend 20 seconds saying they were wrong, after having beat the dead horse into the ground or followed the empty balloon half way across the country. They wait for the next ding and head off like salivating dogs to the next media created 15 minute fame whore.
The effect of the “Balloon Boy Syndrome” is that it just encourages others to do the same. At one point, I referred to the Republican primary as simply auditions for Fox News. Just today, I saw that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas are both toying with the idea of throwing their hats in the ring. Who can blame them, all they have to do is say a few crazy things, watch the media descend upon them, they get built up, form a PAC, raise a bunch of money, write a book and collect the loot. And these cable outlets and news organizations just play right along with it, no shame, no apologies and no honor obviously. Is it any wonder the media ranks below child molesters in polls. (That may be a slight exaggeration, but who’s going to check on it?)
The current Republican Party has proven in many ways that they don’t have the maturity to lead this country. They cavalierly play around with important issues to many people as if they are children on a playground. Just this week, they have proven there adolescence in many ways.
The Republican’s defense authorization bill, Deaniac83 from The People’s View breaks down this little game of the GOP…
The White House is threatening a veto of the House committee version of the defense authorization bill over Republican attempts to launch a worldwide war without specific targets or reasons, block detainee transfer from Guantanamo, and mess with the president’s efforts to reduce active nuclear warheads under the new START treaty. It is also warning Congress against complicating the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Not that you would have heard about this if you read Glenn Greenwald, self-proclaimed Constitutional hero of the anti-war movement.
So once again, Republicans are playing games and purposely adding provisions to bills that they know the President will not support. It’s all one big fucking game to these people. For the last two and a half years, they (mostly white men) have been playing all sorts of games with women’s reproductive rights, even though Roe vs. Wade is “established law” and the federal government already doesn’t allow federal funding for abortions. But that hasn’t stopped them from introducing countless bills almost daily since the children were handed the keys to the car. Rachel Maddow has a great clip that spells out the priorities of these children…
And for all those victims and families in Joplin Missouri, well they have a game for them too, it’s called “Screw You, Unless We Can Screw Someone Else Too”. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) showed just how caring he is towards the people who just had nearly their entire town blown away by a tornado. Here’s a little bit from ThinkProgress…
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. The Washington Times reports:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.
“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.
I”ve been a supporter of the Democratic Party since I was 10 years old, stuffing envelopes and handing out leaflets for George McGovern in his run against President Richard Nixon. In all that time, I’ve grown up and matured as a Democrat and learned that although everyone in the party doesn’t necessarily agree, the greater good that comes from electing Democrats is unmistakable. There ARE consequences to elections. I’m writing this post because I firmly believe that some people who claim to represent the base of the Democratic Party and claim to speak for us – are parasites, feeding on our party for their own selfish gains and in bitter retaliation for Barack Obama kicking their asses in the primary and going on to win the presidency. This post is going to focus on revealing Jane Hamsher, her tactics and how they are undermining the left. It is an expose’, to try to understand why she has focused her efforts so squarely on damaging our Democratic president and how we should deal with it as a party.
Jane Hamsher Comes To Prominence With A Just Cause, Electing A Liberal – She Just Screws It Up Really Bad!
I first noticed Jane during the Ned Lamont primary versus Joe Lieberman and I was definitely rooting for Ned, not knowing that Lieberman would run as an independent. I have no idea what Joe Lieberman’s problem is, he is one of the strangest politicians I’ve ever seen. Back then, I actually bookmarked Jane’s website, signed a petition and got on her email list. But very quickly, I started to see how she plays the game. The photo she put up on a Huffington Post column had a picture of President Clinton with Joe Lieberman, “photoshopped” with blackface, it was taken down very soon after it went up. She was trying to make a statement about Lieberman’s appeal to African Americans. This was just the first example of her vitriol. Here are some reactions to that event.
From Dan Balz at The Washington Post…(emphasis mine in all below)
Arianna Huffington, the founder of HuffingtonPost.com, said that no one from the Web site has asked for the photo to be removed. “We did not ask her, nor would we have asked her,” she said. “It was a satirical point she made in the picture, and there was nothing in the text that was racist, and there is nothing about Jane that is racist.”
Yea, well, Arianna…I’ve spilled a lot of digital ink on her as well. Some more reaction to Jane’s “blackface” problem…
Then it was Ned’s turn. “I don’t know anything about the blogs,” he said according to Dan Balz in the Washington Post. “I’m not responsible for those. I have no comment on them.”
Lamont, who thus far remains the “not Lieberman” choice, is also missing a chance to be senatorial. His spokeswoman denounced Hamsher. Why didn’t he? The campaign asked Hamsher to take down the image from her post; she did, and then offered the non-apology preferred by loutish boyfriends—I’m sorry if I made you upset. Lamont should have gone further to show some spine.
Here is Jane’s response, at least the first two paragraphs. I don’t EVER link to Hamsher, that’s what she wants.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post today on the Huffington Post. It’s also important to note that I do not, nor have I ever worked for Ned Lamont’s campaign. However, at their request, I removed the image earlier today.
Unfortunately, Senator Lieberman’s campaign has used this in attempt to hurt Ned and score political points, mustering their own faux indignation in attempt to further distract from the issues important to the voters of Connecticut.
You’re kidding Jane, a political candidate trying to “hurt’ his opponent and score political points, say it ain’t so Jane? To me that sentence speaks volumes about Jane’s intelligence and political naiveté. Just amazing. And her lack of political acumen shows up in a lot of her writings. I wonder if she’s ever watched C-SPAN for 5 minutes?
BagNews in the Notes section did a great expose on this event too.
What follows is a snippet of Hamsher’s apology (or, “non-apology,” according to Dickerson) for the photo-illustration (also featuring a link to a Connecticut site documenting a racial flier allegedly circulated by the Lieberman campaign). What makes the response particularly BAG-worthy, however, is the question Hamsher poses about the relevance of her choice of images. She writes:
“For weeks, Senator Lieberman has attempted to woo African Americans by pretending to be someone he clearly is not. Meanwhile, his campaign has liberally distributed race-baiting fliers that have the “paid for by” Joe’s campaign disclaimer at the bottom, lying to the press about their intended recipients.
But for some reason, more questions have been asked about me, a blogger. With so much at stake this election, is the choice of images used by a mere supporter really newsworthy?“
First off, Jane needs to step a little closer to the plate. This “mere supporter” just happens to attract about 450,000 page views a week. Also, excuse me for being technical, but the phrase “choice of image” is not that forthcoming, either. As I understand it, Hamsher didn’t just choose this illustration — she conceived it.
More important, however, is the question of whether a blog image is newsworthy. Interesting question coming from a site that leads nearly each post with an image, a great many of which constitute strong parody, or almost stand-alone op-ed.
Jane As The Self Appointed Leader For Progressives and Feminists!
Next I want to take a look at Jane and the idea that she represents progressives and feminists. This next link is to a diary at Daily Kos by Deoliver47, it’s a very good read. She is very wise and her views are through the eyes of someone new to Jane Hamsher’s world, which also makes it interesting. Although Jane seems to think the world revolves around her and that she has some sort of right to represent “progressives”, Deoliver47 didn’t even know who the hell she was…and we were almost done with the health care debate at that point. I only wish I didn’t know who she was then, I may be on a smaller dose of high blood pressure medication.
From Deoliver47 (go read the whole thing, it is wonderful)
It has come to my attention, that somehow a filmmaker and blogger named Jane Hamsher, who seems to be the new leader (appointed by whom I don’t know) of a portion of “left progressives” has proposed a new political alliance with Teabaggers.
Curious I went over to HuffPo, to read what this woman had to say, barely able to imagine that anyone in their right mind who calls themselves a “leftist” or a “progressive” or a “feminist” would countenance an un-holy alliance with a rabble of racists, reactionaries and anti-abortionists.
Since I know nothing about her at all…and had no idea that she was my “new leader” and “spokesperson” for leftists and feminists I did what we all do and headed over to wiki to find out some more about her political credentials to lead a movement from the left.
Hmmm. Nada. Zilch. No organizing experience, no electoral experience (that’s okay, though cause my leadership in the past like Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm and Martin didn’t have any electoral experience either).
The google is good. I found her critique of Carolyn Kennedy, a woman I admire for her quiet work here in NY vis a vis inner city education.
She said of Caroline:
It seems Caroline Kennedy has decided she’d rather have a US Senate seat than a pony for Christmas[...] Really? She’s “making calls this morning to alert political figures to her interest?” I guess it was either that or get her nails done.
Nice, real sisterly solidarity.
Deoliver47 goes on to show some images that the Tea Party were circulating during the campaign and says this, “Now before y’all get in a snit. Miz Jane didn’t carry these signs. She just wants us to form a coalition, to primary Barack Obama with the people who did.” and a little while later, she follows it with this “You are not my leader Miz Jane. In my book you are not a feminist. My Feminism allows for no alliances with racists.”
Along those lines, BlatantLiberal at DKos posted this about Jane Hamsher’s unholy alliance with the enemies of progressive ideas.
There is a fundamental flaw in FDL’s argument that is not pointed out enough. Coalitions with political opponents can be desirable when the end goals are the same (ex. lefty groups and libertarians making common cause for marijuana legalization). If they are not, they don’t make any sense.
Ostensibly Ms. Hamsher wants a better health-care bill (I actually doubt this, but let’s assume it’s true for arguments sake). Grover fucking Norquist doesn’t want a better health-care bill. He doesn’t want any bill. He wants to dismantle the entirety of the US social safety net, repeal the New Deal, and (his words) “drown the government in the bathtub”.
The stupidity of this alliance is astounding. How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get “progressive” legislation passed?
The final sentence of that quote says it all, really, “How is weakening the President and trying to kill his legislative agenda going to help get ‘progressive’ legislation passed?” That’s the part that bothers me the most about the Professional Left and makes me skeptical of their real motives. In regards to the health care debate, if they can’t understand anything about the environment the President was operating in with so many on the left and right demanding things and drawing lines in the sand and threatening filibusters throughout the process – then they surely can’t comprehend that the President kicked some ass and passed national health care. He got coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, for people with children in college, for seniors who were trapped in the donut hole of Part D and for people who will get treatment for the first time in their lives at community health clinics. And that isn’t all, there was a lot more good that came out of that historical piece of legislation. The status quo apparently looked better to Hamsher and her selfish minions and that is disgusting, absolutely disgusting that someone who calls herself a progressive, let alone a leader of the progressive movement, can be so unconcerned about real people. Clicks man, clicks. $$$$
Some Hillary Supporters Completely Lost Their Minds And Revealed Their Deep Seated Hatred, But Jane Got Lots Of Clicks!
In my research for this article, I came across an incident I wasn’t aware of that happened during the 2008 campaign. Since I am and was a political junky, reading everything I can, it’s curious that I missed this one. Well, I guess it isn’t that curious, I was very busy that year and I won’t cry a river about it here.
I came across the clip below at Ebogjonson.com of an angry Hillary Clinton supporter and “Ebog’s” commentary on the event that happened during the 2008 campaign. It was at the height of the tension between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp. I’ve been saying that the people on the “Professional Left” were some of the bitter Hillary supporters and the same vitriol they displayed during the campaign never went away, they just shelved if for a few minutes. Literally, a few minutes. At Ebogjonson.com, he sheds some light on Jane Hamsher in a post called “A Special Kind of Stupid”…
I’m late to this party, but, I had to make sure the ebogblog’s search results included this bit from my dear friend Jane “Blackface Joe” Hamsher. As many of you know, I’m no fan of Hamsher’s. To me she and her acolytes represent a revanchist strain of the Democratic party that was popular before the Age of Obama, where faux-muscular white Democrats / netroots types tried to prove their fitness for taking on the right by making a big show of reclaiming the Democratic party from the troubling grip of special interests, coloreds, political correctness and identity politics.
The first :52 seconds of the clip are the remarks that are important to the discussion below.
More from Ebogjonson.com…
Anyhoo, this is the Hamsher quote that caught my admittedly biased, anti-Jane eye. Writing of the video she took of Harriet Christian, the racist Clinton supporter who called Barack Obama “an inadequate black male,” Hamsher says in the Huffington Post:
The clip became a YouTube phenomenon; by the time I got home over 200,000 people had seen it. It’s now been viewed by over a million people. It appeared on CNN, Fox News and the Daily Show. Within 24 hours, 10 of the top 20 political videos on YouTube were people’s responses to it.
The comments section (which now stands at nearly 19,000, one of the most commented upon political videos on YouTube of all time) was filled with people arguing fiercely about the contest. Some calling Christian a racist who showed the true face of the Clinton campaign, others calling her a truth teller who speaks for them. She turned into a Rorschach test for a Democratic party divided. She was raw, but we were all raw.
I want to point out how important getting internet traffic is to Janey. For her to actually go into such great detail on how many views and comments her Youtube clip got is so revealing. A woman goes on a rant and says this about our future president, “The best nominee that’s possible and the Democrats are throwing the election away. For what? An inadequate black male!?” And what do we get from Jane, she basically tells us how fucking proud she is about how many people watched the clip and commented on it. That speaks many volumes to me, how about you?
I don’t want to keep pasting from Ebogjonson.com, you really have to just click over and read it. It’s very good. He goes after the “Rorschach test” line and breaks down the rant from the Hillary supporter above. Go, now, then come back. Or go later, free will, gotta love it.
It’s The Clicks And The Money, Stupid!
Even before the President took office in January, the “Professional Left” who made lots of cash on their blogs and with their PACs during the Bush years, turned their focus from Bush to Obama in no time flat. They took every rumor, lie and prediction of what the President was “going” to do as the gospel and rather than waiting to see what he actually would do, say with health care, they proceeded to set up a straw man, knock it down, set up another straw man and knock that down too. I think the Professional Left was responsible in large part for how the health bill turned out, by pounding on the president so hard, they weakened him, gave the media fodder for their meme and diminished the President’s negotiating strength. It was very clear to me that they were more concerned with crying and whining and attacking the president than they were helping poor people get health care. They had to try to prove to themselves and everyone else that the Democratic voters made the wrong decision when we nominated Barack Obama. They refused to give him credit, to listen to anything he said during the general election and proceeded to chip away at him from the left for their own petty and selfish needs. And when Robert Gibbs pushed back, after taking hit after hit after hit, they all ran to jump in front of the bullet. They all wanted to be the Professional Left, clicks man, clicks.
One incident that shows the Professional Left’s ability to twist things to fit their narrative is the incident where Rahm Emmanuel offended them by attacking an idea, but they successfully turned it around as an attack on them personally. Very much a Republican like tactics in my opinion. From The Wall Street Journal…
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, [progressive activists] say, is the prime obstacle to the changes they thought Mr. Obama’s election would bring.
The friction was laid bare in August when Mr. Emanuel showed up at a weekly strategy session featuring liberal groups and White House aides. Some attendees said they were planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul.
“F—ing retarded,” Mr. Emanuel scolded the group, according to several participants. He warned them not to alienate lawmakers whose votes would be needed on health care and other top legislative items.
And the one and only Booman responds to the idea that Rahm was calling them retarded.
Rahm Emanuel didn’t say that progressives were retarded. He said that the decision to target Blue Dog Democrats with campaign ads was retarded. And his reasoning was that it would not convince them to support stronger health care reform, but alienate them and make it harder to pass anything at all. You can disagree with Emanuel’s assessment without walking around with wounded feelings for the rest of your life.
Although I’ve seen how ham-handed Rahm can be, as a Democrat who watched wimpy politicians for years not standing up to bullshit, not fighting hard for our ideas and being so respectful and cautious while Republicans pull out all the stops was just a little frustrating. Rahm wasn’t like that and I rooted for him, even though he wasn’t opposed to running moderate or conservative Democrats in conservative districts…what a concept? We would be in much deeper shit in both the last two years of the Bush administration and the first two of President Obama’s if Rahm hadn’t done that. I’ve read some people who think Jane’s hatred for the Obama administration was because of her dislike of Rahm. If she didn’t love her clicks so much, I might put some links up where she twists and turns Rahm’s comment as a personal attack against her and her minions. Once again, jumping in front of those bullets, even if the bullets are aimed at a concept.
Leftover links That You Should Check Out If You Need More Examples
There are some very fishy things going on with her PACs, which Karoli writes about.
Don’t forget about Jane’ cozying up to the Tea Party folks and bonding with them.
Who can forget Jane Hamsher’s attack on Hadassah Lieberman the international spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer charity.
Shoq at Shoq Value has a great post about Jane Hamsher and her PAC for Bradley Manning’s defense, a second one…that she gets paid to administer…and isn’t really needed…and if I’m not mistaken, our “friend” Glenn Greenwald is in on that too.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right, takes Jane’s Firedoglake to task for their misleading polling, another very revealing item about Jane’s character.
My Final Thoughts On Why This Is Important To Winning On November 6, 2012
There is a lot more out there about Jane Hamsher’s journey to this point and the wreckage she has left along the way for the Democratic Party and the liberal movement in general. I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who sees through her charade, her money making scheme, her pent up irrational hatred for our first black president and the vitriol with which she displays her anger and hatred. I actually have a lot more I could add to this post including her experience producing “Natural Born Killers”, that nice family movie that glorified violence so much, Quentin Tarantino wanted his name pulled from it. Some of the sources for that stuff aren’t very reliable so I didn’t go there, I stuck to her politics.
As I was proofing this piece today, I realized what that feeling in the pit of my stomach is like, when I listen to or read Jane Hamsher’s writing. It is like being on a team in sports where you have that one player on your team, who seems to be doing more to help the opposite team. The one who looks like they purposely fumbled the ball or are so incompetent that they couldn’t help themselves. In my mind, I wish I could put Jane Hamsher in the incompetent camp, but based on the persistence of her vitriol and her utter lack of self-awareness, I am finding it hard to do that. She can’t find any time to attack Republicans these days.
The definition of the word Insidious is (last two entries apply here) “2. stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insidious enemy. 3. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.” What Jane Hamsher and her buddies Glenn Greenwald and Cenk Uygur are doing to the Democratic Party is insidious. They are deceitful and operating from within the “progressive” movement in a seemingly harmless way, but in reality they are attempting to bring the party to it’s knees. Glenn Greenwald all but admits that in some recent articles I’ve read about that man, the subject of my next expose’, coming to a blog near you – as soon as I get it all together.
As we head into the next battle with the Republicans, who are more right-wing than ever before, do we need a parasite like Jane Hamsher undermining us as a party as she plays to the Tea Party and other populist dimwits? Do we need a person who can’t give any credit where it is due, for fear that she might look like an Obot or admit that President Obama represents the left very well, considering the political circumstances we are in. Do we need someone who calls people that support our Democratic president – Obama-lovers or Obots or any number of other clever words. With friends like her, who needs enemies. We need to confront these people right away before they begin to chip away at the momentum our party is experiencing in light of what is happening in several states across the country. We need a team that is all in, willing to fight hard against the right and willing to cover our backs when the going gets tough. Hamsher’s group has none of that and they either need to stand up for progress or go find some other money making scheme.
And progress is what it is all about, in my mind. These people like Jane Hamsher have thwarted progress for the last two years while trading on the idea that they are actually for it. They’ve usurped our Party by claiming to be leaders within it, while they have been slowly eating it from the inside out. It’s time to remove the parasite and win in 2012.
Below are some of my thoughts and observations on the strange competing realities in our political universe.
Once upon a time in America there was a media that was known as the 4th estate, a term that is attributed to Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797), a British politician, as quoted in Thomas Carlyle’s book, “Heros and Hero Worship in History” (1841)…
Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all.
I remember when I first became aware of politics, in my teen years…the mid to late 70′s…the role of the press was still focused on presenting the truth. It was a noble goal that all major media outlets adhered to. I think All the President’s Men shows it very well. Sure there were differences of opinions and op-ed pages and politics was politics, but facts were also facts back then. I think politicians and people in the media were a lot more careful about what they said, especially if it was being recorded in some way. I imagine there was a lot of trash talking going on “off the record”, which was a concept that used to be respected too. Now we have people secretly recording or openly recording damn near everything. Twitter is causing all sorts of trouble for people, especially if they didn’t think before they tweeted.
With Rush Limbaugh rising to national attention around 1988, a whole new dynamic began in the media that in the mid 90′s was magnified by the introduction of Fox News. I first listened to Rush Limbaugh during the summer of 1992, I believe. I was painting a house and thought I should listen to what the opposition was pushing in the lead up to the presidential election. It as maddening to listen to, he was blatantly and unabashedly lying without any remorse. If he ever took a call from a listener, it was a supporter or the person was shut down pretty fast if they challenged him at all. I was enraged. That was my first exposure to the right-wing’s master plan of misinforming the mass electorate and conditioning them to block out any conflicting information. They are given Frank Luntz generated slogans to repeat whenever they are confronted with information that doesn’t fit with their well programmed beliefs. It is really an alternate reality that they’ve created, sort of like the one President Bush worked within, from Ron Suskind’s classic piece on the Bush presidency…(emphasis mine)
The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
And I would add to that the fact that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh were the media wing of that reality. The effect of all that alternate reality is a whole lot of confused people in this country. You can’t really necessarily blame these people, many are unknowing victims of the misinformation. Recent polls where they break out the Fox News viewers, show some pretty stunning results…
- 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
- 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
- 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
- 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
- 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
- 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
- 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
- 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
- 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)
For the trolls out there nodding in agreement, every one of those bullet points is the opposite of what is true. Just so we’re clear.
The other impact that Fox News and Rush have on the misinformed masses is to stoke anger and hatred towards President Obama and the Democrats in general. Media Matters has hundreds, perhaps thousands of examples of how they do that. Some of it is subtle and much of it is not so subtle. They clearly like to throw fuel on the fire of racism that continues to burn, particularly in the south. Probably the best examples of this are the folks at the Tea Party rallies who speak up about how they feel. I really don’t understand how someone can be so hateful and let that hatred direct all of his/her opinions. The Republican noise machine and brainwashing apparatus that is Fox News has warped their ability to distinguish lies from reality. This noise machine seems to inoculate their followers from either knowing that it is a lie or subconsciously they may know it, but they play along because the hatred and demagoguery overwhelms any moral reservations they might have about lying. This phenomenon has become more and more pervasive and since the compliant, agenda driven media never seem to call bullshit on them, it only encourages them to continue. Don’t feed the damn bears, people.
What is the answer to this phenomenon? I certainly don’t know the answer to that, but I certainly will do my part to help shine a light on these people that seem to be intent on destroying our democracy.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This one is worth way more than a thousand. Click here for a larger image.
Tell me this isn’t a Tea Party, right-wing-nut tactic that Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars uses in this post? Someone tell me please. In case you didn’t notice, I have removed Crooks and Liars from my blog roll. Buh bye! From Susie (I want to be like Sarah Palin) Madrak…
Joe Biden tells the base to “quit whining” and get out there and “look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”
And last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s new show, he said: “Those who didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up.”
Just buck up.
I’m not sure how we turned out to be the targets, but it looks like we’re officially on notice. No more complaining about frivolities!
The people still without jobs? Quit yer whining.
The ones on food stamps? You, too.
Your house is being foreclosed on? What a buncha whiners. Shut yer piehole!
Those of you living in your cars? Be grateful you still have cars!
Sleeping on your friend’s couch? Beats a cardboard box, don’t it?
You can’t afford to see a doctor? You’ll be able to do that in 2014. You can’t wait just four more years?
And they actually wonder why the base isn’t motivated.
Somehow her apparently pea-sized brain took what Joe Biden actually said, “look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.” and then on O’Donnell’s show, this, “Those who didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up.” and she somehow interpreted it as if he was telling people without a job, or with mortgages gone bad that he was talking to them. How clever to try to convince your angry, populist, raging readers to think that he wasn’t talking about you, Susie, but them instead. That is so fucking clever, I’m sure Republicans will be knocking down your door to offer you a job helping them do it to their idiot followers too. I think you have a new career, Susie. It just reeks of Republican tactics. Death panels anyone?
Big thanks to Karoli at Crooks and Liars for the link to this post by Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny. He said so many things that I have been thinking. Enjoy some pieces below but go read the whole thing and you should bookmark it for future reading too.
When this whole mosque/cultural center nonsense began to be trumped up out of nothing by the right wing element and their hack media outlets, I wasn’t going to write anything about it because I felt it was getting plenty of exposure, but then, I started thinking it’s not just about the mosque story but also about what this story says about the minds of those who vote Republican. Obviously, this is about more than just a mosque. It’s also more than just a wedge issue. It leads us to the horror of what Republicans are at their core. It’s about people who always need someone to hate. They are addicted to it.
The mosque insanity is 2010’s Terry Schiavo “crisis,” pushed forward by the usual gang of republikook congressloons and mediagoons. Should we ban Catholic churches being built because of the actions of some pedi-priests? Are ALL Catholics evil because of the actions of a few? Did we send all Germans back to Germany because of the Nazis? No. In fact, after the war, we brought many of them here.
And, I wonder, how far would be good enough for such people? How far? Try this: The American Family Association is already putting out the idea of no mosques in America, period. What’s next for the Repugs? No temples of any kind. No Synagogues, just Southern Baptist churches? Just Snake Handler churches?
Republicans seem to have an almost idiot savant talent for focusing obsessively on certain specific minutia to the exclusion of any other pertinent information that might provide a more complete picture or a clear view of reality. That’s easy to do when you are fighting mightily to see the world only as you want to see it. It’s the key to how they do their messaging so well. If something just doesn’t fit the world as they want it to be, they toss it and throw a fit just like a petulant child would when confronted by a parent or sibling doing something that didn’t fit the child’s plan for the day. This is more than just childish behavior, though, because it is perpetrated by adults who have learned just enough to be able to manipulate those who don’t have the time, inclination, or experience to gain or process enough information that would give them a bigger picture. If you want to see something a certain way, it’s easy as long as you can exclude chunks of reality. You start with a preconceived notion that enables your hate, and you ditch any contradictory evidence. You can even ignore all of the American Muslims that died in the towers as though they didn’t exist or, more likely to Republicans, they didn’t matter.
Well, of course, the Republican mind does want to know. Let’s face it, if they are so obsessed with who you are sleeping with, who you want to marry, what kind of music you’re into, what books you read, and which PC god you worship, they’ll certainly want to know everything else about you, too. The irony for the Repugs is that, with all their whining, they have guaranteed that the money to build the center will now be flowing in like a tide of BP’s best hitting the shores of Louisiana. Money will be coming from everywhere. Nice work, loonies! Can I hire you next time I want to raise some cash? Please, say something bad about me so I can hang my sign out, too! What a bunch of losers; a whole damn party of whining, pathetic, mental defective, dumbass losers. I mean, come on!
President Obama proves once again, why he is the right person for the job. In remarks at the Ramadan Iftar dinner at the White House, he spoke in support of the controversial community center being planned 2 blocks away from “ground zero”. For anyone capable of being tolerant to others, this is really a silly issue. Jon Stewart does the best job of summing this up, go look at it. I am unable to embed Comedy Central clips on this blog, I’m too poor right now to pay the upgrade fee. But if you haven’t seen Jon’s piece, you really have to. Then come back here and read the rest of this post. There is a commercial that plays before the clip.
“Let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”
What bothers me about this crusade by Islamophobes and Xenophobes is that somehow because of the “symbolism” of it being so close to “ground zero”, the media is helping to push this bigotry and justifying it with the fact that it is close to the World Trade Center site. There are so many things wrong with this idea, the first is that the whole touchy-feely symbolism thing about everything, is getting out of hand. I’m not sure when Americans became soooo sensitive and such big wusses. Everything “sends a message” these days or has some sort of deeper meaning, apparently whatever any given person reads into a situation. It’s like we are all quivering little children who are afraid of anything that moves.
I remember thinking after 9/11 that a lot of Americans really have an attitude that an American life is much more important than any other life. How many hundreds of thousands of people have been killed around the world, genocide in Darfur, starving in many places of the world, but when 3000 people get killed in New York City, they are somehow way more important than the lives of…well, how about an estimated several hundred thousand in Iraq that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Feith/Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-cons murdered in a war of choice. Now I’m sure some will take offense to that for the exact reason I said it and say something like “these were Americans killed on 9/11″. Yes, they were Americans and 310 of them were foreign nationals. One source I found said 62 Muslims died in the attack. But when you read or listen to those most outraged by the community center, they talk as if all 3000 where white, god-fearing Christians. I’m sure if we tried to point out to them the diversity of the people who were in those buildings, their eyes would glaze over and there internal “nah nah nah nah” would kick in.
Besides the symbolism thing, there is also the whole blaming an entire religion for the actions of a group of terrorists. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic and killed 168 people in Oklahoma, are we preventing Catholic churches from being built because of Tim McVeigh? Or how about the Israeli serial killer that was just caught who killed 5 people, should we stop that synagogue from being built down the street? When people buy into that bullshit mentality, they are admitting that they are bigoted, there is no other reason for it. Of course these days being a racist has become chic (in some circles, not mine). The racists have come out of the closet and are being paraded on my television daily. Maybe it’s a good thing to get them out in the open, is it worse to have them simmering below the surface or out there in the light of day?
I recently traveled to New York and New Jersey, was all over NYC one day and do you want to know what was cool. There were people of all races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, whatever and they spoke many different languages….and the really cool thing about it, they were all getting along. When you get out into real America, one that isn’t filtered by a news anchor or political pundit, you see what the true American spirit is about. I didn’t see one teabagger protest during my whole trip. I didn’t see anyone screaming racial slurs at people. I didn’t see anyone yelling about illegal immigrants while packing a gun. I didn’t see Pat Buchanan dividing people up into stereotypes or Joe Scarborough talking about the latest poll on a street corner. I saw people living their lives and letting others live theirs. It was beautiful, really. I guess that is why I am making an effort to turn off my cable news, go out in the real world and interact with people. When we live in a cable news bubble, we run the risk of thinking like the people who want to ostracize anyone who is different from them.
I’m pasting the text of President Obama’s speech at the dinner last night after the fold. Read it, it shows that President Obama is a real American who contrary to the bigots on the right, knows the beliefs our country was founded on. Thanks to the LA Times for the text.
I came across this exclusive article on The Raw Story, a site you should really bookmark if you haven’t already. It addresses how Glenn Beck is on a crusade to change how people view the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now I’m not a religious person according to most people’s definition, but I have read a lot of the Bible and particularly the words attributed to Jesus. The way Glenn Beck has interpreted them, if he has actually read them, is crazier than hell. I don’t listen to or watch Glenn Beck, but I often read stories about him and his impact on our politics. He is a crazy man who has risen to be the representative of many of the crazies in our country. They have their hero now that they can relate to, get comfort from and in many cases get their marching orders from. He preys on these people with emotion, twisted logic (the chalkboard) and really takes advantage of these people’s fears like no one has ever done. Not only that, but he is taking their money from them. I was heartened when I saw this article from The Raw Story, here is a piece of it…
Dan Nejfelt, a communications associate with advocacy group Faith in Public Life, has been high on Beck’s smear-list ever since his group began running Christian radio ads quoting scripture as a way of encouraging believers to stop paying attention to the right-wing Fox News personality.
The group, which says their ads are sponsored by over 100,000 members nation-wide, has gone so far as to target their ads for every city Beck is visiting this summer.
How cool is that? They are fighting back against Beck, who is subtly destroying our public discourse and lowering it into the depths of hell. More from Raw Story…
“Not only are you wrong, the vast majority of people of faith know that you’re wrong,” Nejfelt said, lobbing his words directly at Beck in an exclusive interview with RAW STORY. “We’re going to keep doing what God tells us to do. We’d appreciate it if you’d stop doing what you’re doing.”
The conversation took place following a recent exploration by RAW STORY into Beck’s latest assault on the teachings of Christ. Beck claimed, in the second such attack since March, that “liberation theology” is the driving force behind Christian efforts to help the poor and make peace among men, and that President Obama is a secret subscriber to such a philosophy, which he thinks has become the front for humanity’s evils.
In a media advisory put out the same day as RAW STORY’s exploration of Beck’s gospel, Faith in Public Life says:
Beck has frequently used his television and radio programs to distort the Christian commitment to social justice, a central principle of Christianity rooted in Biblical values and also emphasized in diverse religious traditions.
In March, the host urged his listeners to leave their churches if pastors talked about social or economic justice. Even after prominent clergy from across the faith and ideological spectrum refuted his arguments, Beck has continued his smear campaign by equating social justice with Marxism and Nazism.
“Would you support a leader who said Jesus’ teachings can lead to Nazism or who attacks Christian pastors for preaching the full Gospel? Then why do so many Christians tune in to Glenn Beck?” the ad asks.
Beck also recently alleged that the Jewish concept of the common good led to the Holocaust, saying, “This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany.” Faithful America is airing the ad on Christian stations to reach viewers and listeners who frequently tune into Beck’s programs. While Beck may think he speaks for Christians, thousands have signed petitions rejecting his views and expressing their outrage. The ads are part of Faithful America’s “Driven by Faith, Not by Fear” campaign, an effort to counter the fear, lies and hateful rhetoric of extreme pundits and the Tea Party.
It’s one thing to not support the society that you live in, but it’s quite different to start a campaign to undermine it. What on earth could be Glenn Beck’s reasoning for this…..oh wait, why in the hell am I even thinking that he has the ability to reason. Doh! Even more from The Raw Story…
“People have been working for social justice for a long time,” Nejfelt explained. “This isn’t something that cropped up in talking points last week. This is a centuries long committment, and not just in the christian community.
“Along comes this Glenn Beck character and tries to paint this very sacred concept as though it was hatched by the Nazis or the Marxists. It was kinda like, such a foundational insult to our faith that we just felt we had to respond. It’s not just faithful America: it’s people across the country. It’s a cause for outrage. I’m glad to be a part of helping to channel it and stand up to say no, you’re wrong. What you’re doing is wrong and we’re not going to stand for it.”
Nejfelt explained to RAW STORY: “To worship God and to obey God involves loving your neighbor. Loving your neighbor involves more than just praying for peole and being kind. We need to bring about conditions on earth for people to flourish. Trying to turn society into a place where needs are met are completely in accordance with what God commands. To love your neighbor as yourself is part and parcel to that.”
Hell yes, it’s about time christians stood up to this kind of hateful rhetoric. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Nejfelt and Faith in Public Life are anomalies. A large segment of the christian community in America has crossed over into the realm of politics and in my opinion, bastardized their own beliefs to fulfill some political agenda. Glenn Beck is just tapping into that scene and using to his advantage….roll the Goldline commercial.
The Tea Party
Finally the Tea Party seems to have found something that goes over the line as far as what they allow their “members” to say and do. They kicked out Mark Williams, the head of the Tea Party Express, below is just a taste the fantasy letter he wrote…
It began “Dear Mr. Lincoln,
“We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”
The media obsession with the oil spill and the immediate need to blame someone shows the immaturity of the press. Every twist and turn has caused them to hyperventilate on TV. They act like the Deep Water Horizon was the first oil well drilled in the gulf and ignore the over 30,000 other rigs out in the gulf. I wish as a country, we had done something about our dependence on foreign oil back in the 1970′s when OPEC was jerking us around.
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…..there is this thing called “spell check” and this other thing called “dictionary.com”. You have to give her credit for sticking to her guns, right? She’s like George W. Bush in many ways, why should I be surprised that some Republicans like her? When I went to post this, I had to ignore the spell checker on “refudiate”. :)
Whoopie Goldberg, Come On!
What in the hell is wrong with Whoopie? Defending Mel Gibson after the latest racist, misogynistic rant? I googled Whoopie and the word “defends” and realized, she is a habitual defender of assholes. WTF Whoopie. Here is the list with links….
“Single Ladies Dance” (You know, the little girls dancing like Beyonce)
As regular readers know, I’m not a fan of polls and how they are being used by the media to try to sway legislators into voting with the popular trends in the country. Morning Joe on MSNBC is barely watchable anymore. And it isn’t just because Obama has been down in the polls, it isn’t just about politics these days. Remember this where the baseball pitcher was robbed of a perfect game, someone did a poll to see what the American people thought of a bad call in a freakin baseball game. If that isn’t taking the polling phenomenon to new levels of stupid, I don’t know what is.
Steve Benen has a piece based on a column by Dana Milbank which talks about the Republican Party’s mainstreaming of the fringe elements of the party. They seem to be welcoming all comers, whether sane or not, racist or not, conspiracy freaks or not and basically those who believe that the world is flat. Both Milbank and Benen say it better than I can so here is some of their words about it. First Millbank…..
Late last month, Thomas Sowell of the conservative Hoover Institution penned an irresponsible column likening Obama’s presidency (particularly his pushing BP to set aside funds for oil-spill victims) to the rise of Hitler in Germany and Lenin in the Soviet Union.
After the column came out, Sarah Palin tweeted her followers with instructions to “Read Thomas Sowell’s article.” Sowell’s theme — that Obama, like Hitler and Lenin, exploits “useful idiots” who don’t know much about politics — was strikingly similar to what wound up on the Iowa billboard.
Twenty years ago, the dawn of the Internet Age gave us Godwin’s Law: If an online argument goes on long enough, somebody will eventually invoke Hitler. When that happens, it’s basically the end of the conversation, because all rational discussion ceases when one side calls the other Nazis.
These sentiments have long existed on the fringe and always will. The problem is that conservative leaders and Republican politicians, in their blind rage against Obama these last 18 months, invited the epithets of the fringe into the mainstream. Godwin’s Law has spread from the chat rooms and now applies to cable news and even to the floor of the House of Representatives.
Consider these tallies from Glenn Beck’s show on Fox News since Obama’s inauguration: 202 mentions of Nazis or Nazism, according to transcripts, 147 mentions of Hitler, 193 mentions of fascism or fascist, and another 24 bonus mentions of Joseph Goebbels. Most of these were directed in some form at Obama — as were the majority of the 802 mentions of socialist or socialism on Beck’s nightly “report.”
And now Steve Benen’s take on this…
The speed with which conservatives went from zero to hysterical in 2009 was impressive, but it’s the mainstreaming of sheer madness that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As Milbank noted, “[A]ccusations that once were beyond the pale — not just talk of Nazis and Marxists but intimations of tyranny, revolution and bloodshed — are now routine.”
And so the Republican Party shows no meaningful qualms about becoming the party of conspiracy theories (“Birthers,” Gulf oil spill was deliberate), wild-eyed accusations (ACORN, “re-education camps,” Gestapo-like security forces, New Black Panther Party), and radical policy positions (a five-year spending freeze to address a global economic crisis, the belief that tax cuts pay for themselves, a freeze on federal regulations, willful ignorance about energy, health, and education policy, the entire Sharron Angle/Rand Paul platform).
The point isn’t that political radicalism is new; it’s clearly not. Rather, the key development over the last 18 months is the ways in which right-wing extremism has gone mainstream — with the consent of the Republican Party, which sees the electoral benefits of blind rage and fear.
That Mason City billboard warned the public that “radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive.” On this, the Tea Partiers were far more correct than they probably realize.
I’ve argued all along that the LEADERS of the Republican Party are the crazies and now they are just “emboldened” by the election of Barack Obama. They’ve been there all along, they are just now taking over control of the party from those “thinking” Republicans. I have a hard time thinking of a “thinking” Republican these days, they all seem to have gone over the edge. We live in a scary country.
If you haven’t seen this, check it out. Rachel gives Rand Paul a lot of opportunity to back off his previous racist statements but he digs in and seems to make matters even worse. It ought to be a fun year in politics. Strap on your seat belts folks.